ANDY MURRAY still feels the pain today.
His mind will be tormented by the missed chances that saw Roger Federer take the Wimbledon title. His body is battered and bruised by a two-week campaign that tested the Scot to the very limit.
But he is still ready to fight on, fight back. The 25-year-old must now prepare for the Olympics at Wimbledon in three weeks.
He will not pick up a racquet, though, "until my mind is right".
He added: "There's no point in going on the court until I'm ready to go out there and learn and work hard and do the right things in the gym and in practice because there's just no point."
Murray took some jarring falls on the slippy Wimbledon turf over his two-week campaign and has been struggling with a back injury for six months.
"I'll wait and see how my body recovers after the next few days. I fell a lot of times this tournament. I've got a lot of bruises all over my body. So I need to take a few days off, let everything heal, recover, and then see. But I won't be on court next week, that's for sure."
Murray was also emotionally drained after coming up short in his fourth Grand Slam final. The search for a major continues, but it does not get any easier for the Dunblane ace.
He said the Swiss player now ranked alongside such as Pele and Muhammad Ali as extraordinary athletes and talents.
"Both he and Rafa [Nadal] in this sport have been unbelievable athletes. They've been great for the sport," said Murray, whose first loss in a Wimbledon final followed defeats to Federer in the finals of Australia and US and to Novak Djokovic in Melbourne.
Federer came in to Wimbledon 2012 without a Grand Slam triumph in two and a half years and, approaching 31, had invited whispers that he would not add to his record tally of 16 majors.
"He's still playing amazing tennis," Murray confirmed of Federer, who has reclaimed the world No.1 slot. "A lot of people have been asking me: 'Has he started slipping? Is he not playing as well?'"
He went on: "If you look at the matches he lost the last couple years, very, very close matches, matches he definitely could have won, he could be sitting on 20 Grand Slams if one point went his way or a couple inches went his way here or there."
Federer's seventh Wimbledon title makes him the best player in the world rankings and Murray said: "I don't think you get to No.1 unless you deserve it."
Murray now has to reflect on a draining defeat, but he is determined to move forward. He admitted he had been in tears on court after the match but said: "It's tough. Today's pretty hard because you're playing in front of a crowd like that. You're playing in front of your whole family."
He added: "I'd be playing I guess probably the wrong sport if I wasn't emotional. I mean, I thought I played a pretty good match. A lot of close shots, a lot of close games, a lot of break points here and there. He played very, very well the last two sets especially. When the roof closed he played unbelievable tennis."
Asked how much closer he felt he was to the goal of being a major winner, he said: "That's the best I've played in a slam final. I created chances. I obviously went up a set. I still had chances the game where I got broken in the third set.
"It wasn't like I gave away bad games or stupid games and stuff. I played a good match. I made pretty good decisions for the most part, so I'm happy with that. I felt more comfortable this morning and before the match than I had done maybe in the previous slams."
Murray had been disappointed not to win a set in previous finals and he was desolate at yesterday's defeat, but he felt there were grounds for encouragement.
"I played better this time in the final, and that's the main thing. It's not an easy tournament for British players in many ways, but I think I dealt with all of the extra things away from the tournament pretty well, better than maybe I had done in the past.
"I'm still improving, still playing better tennis, trying to improve, which is all I can do."
He hoped to take strength from LeBron James, the Miami Heat basketball superstar, who won the NBA finals this season after years of coming up just short.
"Stories like that are inspiring. It kind of gives you that extra bit of belief," said the Scot.
"Some guys have taken much longer (to achieve) than others. He said after he lost in the NBA Finals last year that he's having to go through a lot of nightmares before he reaches his dream.
"To me, I think I'm in a similar situation right now. Yeah, it doesn't get easier. When you lose, it's hard, it's tough to take, but you need to try and show strength of character to come back from it. Hopefully one day you get there."
Murray still believes his final destination will be a Grand Slam victory.